The sexy parts of love are, admittedly, the best parts. The kisses, the sex, the support, the romance. The unsexy part of love is that you commit to being in love every day. That’s how it really works. That’s how you sustain passion. That’s how you stay together and love each other while doing it. That’s how you keep going without getting distracted by what you think is greener grass somewhere else.
You don’t take your partner for granted. I don’t mean that you say thank you when they cook you dinner or when they buy you a Sprite from 7-11 when you didn’t ask for one. I mean, you treat them like you know they’re making a choice to devote themselves to you today, as much as you are making the choice. You don’t assume they’ll always be there. You don’t treat them like they are your punching bag. They may tell you they unconditionally love you, but you don’t take that for granted or test that.
There are certain parts of your relationship that you don’t skimp on, no matter how busy you get. Whether that’s taking five minutes in the morning to cuddle and talk about the weird dreams you had or if it’s making sure you sit together every night to have dinner. You carry over what you love about your relationship into a daily routine.
You don’t stop doing the things that made you fall in love with each other just because you’ve been together a while.
You keep the spark alive, not just in the bedroom, but everywhere. You kiss goodbye, a real kiss, an intimate kiss. You kiss hello and look in each other’s eyes and talk about your respective days. You hug and you cuddle and you sleep next to each other and you smile when they wake up, even if you’ve woken up to that face every day for the past seven years.
This is how you keep the spark alive when it dulls and dims, this is how you reignite the flicker into a flame.
Sure, you can role play and you can spice things up in between the sheets, but you must also fan the flame that is your intimate, unique spark, the few things that brought you both together in the first place. Every couple has these, the snowflake-like things that made you both realize that this was different, this was someone you could wake up to every morning for a very long time.
And, communicate, talk, tell each other everything. This isn’t about communicating when you’re hurt; it’s about communicating about the life stuff. Confide! Be vulnerable! Tell that person everything you wouldn’t tell anyone else. Why not? What have you got to lose? Would you rather have someone be in love with you for only the shiny parts of yourself?
When you let someone know exactly who you are and they still look at you with yearning, loving eyes, you’ll know how it feels to be truly, deeply in love. You will understand that this is a kind of love that takes nurturing, that you can commit to every day, that just a smile from them will elicit a smile from you.
This isn’t a rom-com kind of love with a bunch of sizzle that fades in time. This is the kind of love that runs deep through your veins, that gets under your skin whether you like it or not. This is the kind of love that makes you understand what love is, even when you’re weathering external and internal battles that threaten to break you. This is the kind of love that is there for you when life happens and you’re unemployed or grieving or sick or at the bottom of a hole that you can’t see out of. This love is there to remind you of the light.
Read more on life and love in our bestselling ebook The Truth About Everything here.